The terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party left eight Turkish soldiers dead and sixteen others wounded on Tuesday in a deadly attack on a military outpost in Hakkari's Dağlıca area. The attack drew strong condemnation from state authorities and various organizations
The PKK terrorists crossed the northern Iraqi border into Turkey and from three positions attacked the Yeşiltaş Military Outpost in Dağlıca, a neighborhood in the Yüksekova district in Hakkari province at about 5 a.m.
A written statement released by the Hakkari Governor's Office on Tuesday said Turkish troops immediately responded to the PKK attack with heavy fire and killed 10 PKK terrorists. The Turkish military launched an operation against the terrorists after reinforcements were deployed to the area, the statement said. Turkish TV networks reported later on Tuesday that eight more PKK terrorists were killed in clashes. The office also extended its condolences to the nation.
The 16 wounded soldiers were taken from the scene to the Fatih military outpost by helicopters and brought to Hakkari State Hospital and Hakkari Military Hospital for treatment.
Authorities announced the identities of the soldiers that died in the attack: Ali Gümüş, Cahit Kılıç, İsa Sayın, Umut Bulut, Ali Yasin Erosmanoğlu, Mustafa Türkmen, Yaşar Doymuş and Samet Bütün.
The PKK has intensified its violent acts in recent weeks, and dozens of terrorists have been killed in armed skirmishes. The Dağlıca battalion, which oversees border security in the area to prevent terrorists from crossing into Turkey, has also been attacked several times in the past. In one of the more deadly attacks, 12 soldiers were killed and eight captured by the PKK on Oct. 21, 2007. The incident sparked public anger and outrage as the captured soldiers were held by the terrorist organization in northern Iraq for a few weeks. Tuesday's attack came amid efforts by the government to try to reconcile with the Kurdish people through granting more cultural rights.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently announced plans to introduce elective Kurdish lessons in schools, after allowing Kurdish language broadcasts on television.
Meanwhile, chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel, Land Forces Commander Gen. Hayri Kıvrıkoğlu and Gendarmerie Forces Commander Gen. Bekir Kalyoncu left Ankara for Hakkari to further investigate the incident. Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay and Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin also headed the area, news reports said.
The first public statement on behalf of the government was made by Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç who convened a meeting on Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. at the Prime Ministry’s central office in Ankara to discuss the latest deadly attack and a fire that broke out in a Şanlıurfa Prison and claimed the lives of 13 inmates. Arınç said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is currently in Mexico for the G-20 summit, cannot cancel his visit. Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz, Prime Ministry Undersecretary Efkan Ala, National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Undersecretary Hakan Fidan and Deputy Chief of Turkish General Staff Hulusi Akar were in attendance at the meeting which was chaired by Bülent Arınç.
Various organizations, segments condemn the deadly attack
Many organizations, politicians, state authorities, football clubs and the families of martyrs condemned the attack yesterday and extended their condolences to the families of the slain soldiers and the Turkish people.
Democratic Left Party (DSP) chairman Masum Türker, Felicity Party (SP) leader Mustafa Kamalak, Voice of the People Party (HAS Party) leader Numan Kurtulmuş, Grand Unity Party (BBP) Chairman Mustafa Destici, Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek were among politicians who offered condolences for the fallen soldiers and wished a quick recovery for the wounded soldiers.
Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister İrsen Küçük also condemned the attack and delivered his condolences to Erdoğan and said Turkish Cypriots share the grief of the motherland Turkey.
“I curse this treacherous attack,” President Abdullah Gül said in a statement in the wake of the attack and offered his condolences to the Turkish people, the General Staff and the families of the soldiers.
“The terrorist group wants to sabotage the atmosphere of trust and stability and is continuing its inhumane bloody attacks, “ Gül further stated adding that the effective fight against terrorism will decisively continue in all its dimensions.
“The state should mobilize all its capabilities to eradicate PKK terrorism,” Nationalist Movement Party leader Devlet Bahçeli said on Tuesday during his party’s parliamentary group meeting and damned the terrorist attack.
Commenting on Tuesday’s deadly attack, Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Chairman Selahattin Demirtaş said the PKK should immediately lay down its arms to give an end to bloodshed and insisted on the idea that the military also should halt its operations. Demirtaş then submitted his condolences to the families of slain soldiers and added, “This war should end. We should not let our youth to kill each other. For God’s sake, everyone should do something to end this fight.”
A Turkish soldier died and two others were slightly wounded in another clash between the PKK members and Turkish soldiers on Monday night in the southern province of Hatay.
The clash occurred around 9:00 p.m. in a mountaneous area in Hatay’s Belen district, near the Mazıcak Stream. The wounded security forces were taken to the İskenderun State Hospital for treatment, but gendarmerie commando Doğukan Şit, who was seriously wounded, died in the hospital.
A written statement released by the Hatay Governor’s Office said gendarmerie and police special ops teams were immediately deployed to the area, where operations are ongoing against PKK members who escaped to the mountains. The governor’s office also extended condolences to the family of the fallen commando in the statement. Reports said the Turkish troops were on their way to Amanos Mountains, which the PKK uses for passage into Syria, to conduct an operation against terrorists when they were suddenly attacked.
A funeral ceremony was held for the slain soldier in Hatay which was attended by Hatay Governor Mehmet Celalettin Lekesiz, Hatay Mayor Lütfü Savaş and many Hatay deputies. Şit’s body was then taken to İstanbul for burial.